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Windows 7: move W7 from HDD to SSD

30 Dec 2010   #1

W7 Pro 64
move W7 from HDD to SSD

I have W 7 pro 64 bit on my WD HDD. When I buy my new SSD I want to clone the OS to the SSD.

Ido realize a fresh installation would be ideal. But I have all my wife's company software, outlook etc. set up and a fresh install to get everything set up would take a long time. there would be my time doing it, and downtime in which she can't use the PC.

My main concern is, that TRIM works since when I originally installed W7 it didn't have an SSD.

I have a regular (non OEM license). Will MS cause any trouble when it sees a new piece of hardware so that i need to re-activate it?

This is for the scenario that the rest of the hardware (CPU, MB etc. stays the same). My next question, what if i replace the MB? Does it still matter that I installed the OS for a core2duo and if I clone it to a Sandy-Bridge or any other different MB the CPU has different instructions (SSE etc.) etc. will this be problematic so that W7 can't use the more advanced new features? Also will I need to reactivate? Again, this a scenario where I would not use the old MB anymore with the same license.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #2
Microsoft MVP


I'd use built-in Win7 backup image, Macrium Reflect or Paragon Backup 10 which are all excellent free imaging apps. This way you have a backup file archived and used for reimaging.

Also excellent are the Acronis free cloning /imaging apps for when any WD or Seagate drives are involved. You can even directly clone the HD to the SSD while changing partition sizes.

You may not have to reactivate with just a HD change. With a mobo change you most certainly will since the hardware signature will need to be updated in MS computers via online reactivation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #3

W7 Pro 64

I even have Acronis to do that...
My question is: will I need to manually enable TRIM or do I need to do anything else to get the full performance as if i had installed it fresh?

and if i change CPU + MB: will the cloned version take advantage of instruction sets (SSE etc.) the the original CPU didn't have?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Dec 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP


If you have Acronis 10+ with Universal Restore it will prepare the image for a change of hardware - as is required in most cases to reimage with a major change of hardware such as you are suggesting.

Otherwise Paragon Adaptive Restore CD will likewise prepare the reimaged HD to start on new hardware.

Sometimes Win7 will start on new hardware on its own, but not often with new mobo or CPU.

SSD Alignment
SSD Tweaks and Optimizations in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #5

W7 Pro 64

Thanks for the wealth of information. I have Acronis 2011.
Will i still need to do the alignment or will that be taken care of by Acronis?

It is my understanding that now i need to do the following:
1. install the SSD in my PC
2. clone the system partition with Acronis to the SSD
3. restart from SSD and do a windows system repair
4. check if TRIM etc. works as intended

If i had to do the re-alignment, would that be after I install the SSD before I clone the OS?

Edit: this may be off my original question: how do IT departments deploy OS images? It is my understanding they also need a lot of setup for th eimage. but do they jsut have one image for the different PCs? I mean an organization with 1000+ PCs likely has 10 different CPUs with different instruction sets. Do they need different images for eahc CPU type? Or can they just use the same?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2010   #6

XP / Win7 x64 Pro

You might need to reactive even if you are just doing backup and restore within Windows 7. I restored a backup to my same system drive a month or so ago and it prompted me to re-activate, even though nothing had changed other than the image restoration. While I believe the system was already activated prior to the backup image being created, I can't say for sure. However, others have mentioned that already activated system image backups have also required re-activation once restored. Just an FYI if that does happen.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 move W7 from HDD to SSD

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